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1.  Predictive value of high-sensitivity troponin-I for future adverse cardiovascular outcome in stable patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I(hs-TnI) and T levels(hs-TnT) are sensitive biomarkers of cardiomyocyte turnover or necrosis. Prior studies of the predictive role of hs-TnT in type 2 diabetes mellitus(T2DM) patients have yielded conflicting results. This study aimed to determine whether hs-TnI, which is detectable in a higher proportion of normal subjects than hsTnT, is associated with a major adverse cardiovascular event(MACE) in T2DM patients.
Methods and results
We compared hs-TnI level in stored serum samples from 276 consecutive patients (mean age 65 ± 10 years; 57% male) with T2DM with that of 115 age-and sex-matched controls. All T2DM patients were prospectively followed up for at least 4 years for incidence of MACE including heart failure(HF), myocardial infarction(MI) and cardiovascular mortality. At baseline, 274(99%) patients with T2DM had detectable hs-TnI, and 57(21%) had elevated hs-TnI (male: 8.5 ng/L, female: 7.6 ng/L, above the 99th percentile in healthy controls). A total of 43 MACE occurred: HF(n = 18), MI(n = 11) and cardiovascular mortality(n = 14). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that an elevated hs-TnI was associated with MACE, HF, MI and cardiovascular mortality. Although multivariate analysis revealed that an elevated hs-TnI independently predicted MACE, it had limited sensitivity(62.7%) and positive predictive value(38.5%). Contrary to this, a normal hs-TnI level had an excellent negative predictive value(92.2%) for future MACE in patients with T2DM.
The present study demonstrates that elevated hs-TnI in patients with T2DM is associated with increased MACE, HF, MI and cardiovascular mortality. Importantly, a normal hs-TnI level has an excellent negative predictive value for future adverse cardiovascular events during long-term follow-up.
PMCID: PMC4006634  PMID: 24661773
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; High-sensitivity troponin I outcome
2.  Worsened arterial stiffness in high-risk cardiovascular patients with high habitual carbohydrate intake: a cross-sectional vascular function study 
Previous studies suggested that high dietary carbohydrate intake is associated with increased cardiovascular risk through raised triglyceride and decreased high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels. However, the relation between carbohydrate intake and arterial stiffness has not been established. The purpose of this study was to examine this relation among high-risk cardiovascular patients.
We studied the relation between dietary macronutrient intake and arterial stiffness in 364 patients with documented cardiovascular diseases or risk equivalent (coronary artery diseases 62%, ischemic stroke 13%, diabetes mellitus 55%) and in 93 age-and-sex matched control subjects. Dietary macronutrient intake was assessed using a validated food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) for Chinese. Heart-ankle pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured non-invasively with a Vascular Profiling System (VP2000, Colin Corp. USA). A dietary pattern with ≥60% total energy intake derived from carbohydrates was defined as a high-carbohydrate diet according to the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for Chinese.
Subjects who consumed a high-carbohydrate diet had significantly higher mean PWV than those who did not consume a high-carbohydrate diet (P = 0.039). After adjustment for potential confounders, high-carbohydrate diet was associated with significantly increased PWV [B = 73.50 (10.81 to 136.19), P = 0.022]. However, there was no significant association between high-carbohydrate diet and PWV in controls (P = 0.634).
High-carbohydrate diet is associated with increased arterial stiffness in patients with established cardiovascular disease or risk equivalent.
PMCID: PMC3948104  PMID: 24559092
Macronutrient; Carbohydrate intake; Arterial stiffness; Pulse wave velocity; Secondary prevention
3.  Association of subclinical myocardial injury with arterial stiffness in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus 
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is associated with subclinical myocardial injury although the underlying mechanism is uncertain. We postulated that arterial stiffness, endothelial dysfunction and subclinical atherosclerosis may contribute to subclinical myocardial injury in patients with T2DM.
Serum high-sensitivity troponin I (hs-TNI) an indicator of myocardial injury, was measured in 100 patients with T2DM without clinical evidence of macrovascular disease and 150 age and gender-matched controls. Elevated hs-TnI was defined as follow (derived from the 99th percentile from controls): Male >11.1 ng/L; female >7.6 ng/L. Measures that may contribute to myocardial damage in patients with T2DM, including brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV), brachial flow mediated dilatation (FMD) and carotid intima media thickness (IMT), were also assessed.
The serum level of hs-TNI (5.7±9.2 μg/L vs. 3.2±1.9 μg/L, P< 0.01) and the prevalence of elevated hs-TNI (12% vs. 4%, P = 0.02) were significantly higher in patients with T2DM than controls. Patients with T2DM also had significantly worse ba-PWV (17.98±3.91ms-1 vs. 15.70±2.96 ms-1), brachial FMD (2.6±3.5% vs. 5.5±4.2%, P< 0.01) and carotid IMT (0.96±0.20 mm vs. 0.86±0.14 mm, P< 0.01). In patients with T2DM, hs-TNI was positively correlated with systolic blood pressure (r = 0.31, P<0.01), serum creatinine (r = 0.26, P = 0.01) and ba-PWV (r = 0.34, P< 0.01). Importantly, multiple regression revealed that only ba-PWV was independently associated with hs-TNI (β = 0.25, P = 0.04).
The results demonstrated an independent association between ba-PWV and hs-TNI in patients with T2DM with no clinical evidence of macrovascular disease. These findings suggest that increased arterial stiffness is closely related to subclinical myocardial injury in patients with T2DM.
PMCID: PMC3706358  PMID: 23799879
Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Myocardial injury; Arterial stiffiness; High-sensitivity troponin I
4.  Secular trends of salted fish consumption and nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a multi-jurisdiction ecological study in 8 regions from 3 continents 
BMC Cancer  2013;13:298.
Despite salted fish being a classical risk factor of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC), whether secular trends in salted fish consumption worldwide accounted for changes in NPC rates were unknown. The relationship between vegetable and cigarette consumption to NPC risk worldwide were also largely uncertain. We investigated the longitudinal trends in standardised NPC incidence/mortality rates across 8 regions and their associations with secular trends in salted fish, vegetable and tobacco consumptions.
Age standardised mortality rate (ASMR) and age standardised incidence rate (ASIR) of NPC were obtained from the WHO cancer mortality database and Hong Kong Cancer Registry. Per capita consumption of salted fish, tobacco and vegetables in Hong Kong and 7 countries (China, Finland, Japan, Portugal, Singapore, United Kingdom and United States) were obtained from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO) and Hong Kong Trade and Census Statistics. Pearson correlation and multivariate analysis were performed to examine both crude and adjusted associations.
There were markedly decreasing trends of NPC ASIR and ASMR in Hong Kong over the past three decades, which were correlated with corresponding secular changes in salted fish consumption per capita (Pearson r for 10 cumulative years : ASIR = 0.729 (male), 0.674 (female); ASMR = 0.943 (male), 0.622 (female), all p < 0.05 except for female ASMR). However such associations no longer correlated with adjustments for decreasing tobacco and increasing vegetable consumption per capita (Pearson r for 10 cumulative years: ASIR = 2.007 (male), 0.339 (female), ASMR = 0.289 (male), 1.992 (female), all p > 0.05). However, there were no clear or consistent patterns in relations between NPC ASIR and ASMR with salted fish consumption across 7 regions in 3 continents.
Our results do not support the notion that changes in salted fish consumption had played an important role in explaining secular trends of NPC rates in Hong Kong and worldwide. Further studies should explore other lifestyle and genetic factors. However, our findings do support the potentially protective effects of vegetable consumption against NPC.
PMCID: PMC3729410  PMID: 23782497
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Salted fish consumption; Tobacco; Secular trend; Ecological study
5.  Prognostic implications of surrogate markers of atherosclerosis in low to intermediate risk patients with Type 2 Diabetes 
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients are at increased risk of developing cardiovascular events. Unfortunately traditional risk assessment scores, including the Framingham Risk Score (FRS), have only modest accuracy in cardiovascular risk prediction in these patients.
We sought to determine the prognostic values of different non-invasive markers of atherosclerosis, including brachial artery endothelial function, carotid artery atheroma burden, ankle-brachial index, arterial stiffness and computed tomography coronary artery calcium score (CACS) in 151 T2DM Chinese patients that were identified low-intermediate risk from the FRS recalibrated for Chinese (<20% risk in 10 years). Patients were prospectively followed-up and presence of atherosclerotic events documented for a mean duration of 61 ± 16 months.
A total of 17 atherosclerotic events in 16 patients (11%) occurred during the follow-up period. The mean FRS of the study population was 5.0 ± 4.6% and area under curve (AUC) from receiver operating characteristic curve analysis for prediction of atherosclerotic events was 0.59 ± 0.07 (P = 0.21). Among different vascular assessments, CACS > 40 had the best prognostic value (AUC 0.81 ± 0.06, P < 0.01) and offered significantly better accuracy in prediction compared with FRS (P = 0.038 for AUC comparisons). Combination of FRS with CACS or other surrogate vascular markers did not further improve the prognostic values over CACS alone. Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified CACS > 40 as an independent predictor of atherosclerotic events in T2DM patients (Hazards Ratio 27.11, 95% Confidence Interval 3.36-218.81, P = 0.002).
In T2DM patients identified as low-intermediate risk by the FRS, a raised CACS > 40 was an independent predictor for atherosclerotic events.
PMCID: PMC3444371  PMID: 22900680
Vascular markers of atherosclerosis; Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Results 1-5 (5)